Swedish massage vs deep tissue massage ?

People who want to get a massage often get confused between different types of massage. Worse, they tend to identify them as the same, when in fact most forms of massage are unique. This often happens with Swedish and deep tissue massages. Both types of massage are considered the same. However, you should read further so that you know that the two are not alike.

First, we will analyze what the Swedish massage is.

This is known to almost everyone who has ever been at the reception of a specialist in manual therapy. This is the basis for other massages and it is from him that one should begin acquaintance with various massage techniques. Especially if they involve a combined or deep effect on muscle tissue.

Swedish massage, like other types of therapeutic massage, is performed by trained licensed massage therapists.


This massage was invented by the Swede Per Henrik Ling in the 1830s. During a fencing training, he injured his elbow and decided to cope with the consequences of this injury. By pressing certain sections of the hand, the athlete began to develop the technique of manual therapy. Subsequently, she gained fame under the name of a Swedish massage. Swedish massage includes five basic principles, which include: Providing long and smooth strokes; soft kneading of muscles; the use of therapeutic friction; tapping (otherwise known as hacking), and providing constant vibration. The combination of these methods provides maximum circulation and relaxation, which develops the flexibility of what is being massaged. It is not surprising why the herd of followers wanted to learn from the popular massage art of Henri Ling (the Swedish physiologist who developed this massage) to this day.


Unlike drug therapy, massage therapy is a safe way to eliminate the effects of injuries and has few contraindications. Moreover, this procedure has many benefits for the body. It improves the flexibility and mobility of joints, reduces swelling, relieves muscle cramps and fatigue, and stimulates blood circulation. It also accelerates the healing of injuries, increases muscle strength, and soothes the nervous system after stress. During the massage, the connective tissues are warmed up and stretched, the skin is toned, the symptoms of asthma, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome are relieved, acute pain and migraines are relieved. Swedish massage is considered the basis of other types of massage.

The advantages of massage to improve the emotional state are also undeniable:

  1. Psychological relaxation
  2. Increased duration and quality of sleep
  3. Relieving symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety
  4. Irritability reduction
  5. Concentration improvement

Swedish massage: how is it

Duration on average is 50-60 minutes. A session lasting 75–90 minutes is prescribed if necessary, a deep impact on muscle tissue and, as a result, rapid achievement of the result. Swedish massage can be at a different pace. It all depends on the style of the therapist and the ultimate goal of treatment.

Besides, Swedish massage uses drapery to cover some parts of the body during a session. Then this drape systematically moves throughout the massage. In general, Swedish massage is intended to be relaxing as it is a calm and soothing massage.

If you want deeper work and are ready to endure a stronger physical effect to alleviate chronic muscle pain, it is better to order a deep tissue massage. It should be remembered that pain can indicate a serious problem, which may require several massage sessions. Often massage practices are used for weight loss, combining them with proper nutrition and daily routine. The average duration of the massage is an hour

 What happens during a body massage

During a Swedish massage, the therapist first lubricates the skin with oil and performs movements that should warm up the muscle tissue, releasing tension and gradually breaking up the “knots” or adhesions. A few drops of various essential oils are often added to the oil base, which also has a beneficial effect on the skin. Before starting the massage, the therapist should ask you about any bodily injuries and list the contraindications that you should be aware of. It is necessary to warn the specialist about everything that can reduce the effectiveness of the session or aggravate pain.


TIP: SWEDISH MASSAGE IS CONTRAINDICATED WITH FRESH FRACTURES AND OPEN WOUNDS, VARIOUS EXTENSION OF VESSELS, FIRST DEVELOPMENT HYPERTENSION, ONCOLOGICAL DISEASES, AND TROUBLE. Also, you should not undergo such procedures if you are pregnant or are currently being treated for an infectious disease.

During a Swedish massage, you are usually completely naked under a towel or sheet. If this factor causes certain inconvenience, you can not remove underwear. Most often, massage occurs while you are lying face down, with the head should be located in a special niche provided in the table. Only in this way your spine takes the necessary position. Massage helps tone the body. Massage start from the back. Next, the therapist proceeds to work with the legs, then with the hands. Traditionally, the massage ends with a warm-up of the neck and shoulders. Each movement of the therapist, especially at the beginning, is soft, smooth, even sensual. Hands slowly glide over the patient’s skin. The specialist fingers the entire surface of the soft tissues with his fingers. Then striking begins, which is directed from the bottom up, that is, from the limbs to the trunk. The movement is slow.

A prerequisite is a focus on the heart, and not from it. This is because blood circulation should occur in the direction of the heart muscle, and not in the opposite. So that body tissues are uniformly actively warmed up, they do not allow sudden movements. At this stage, the person who is being massaged feels all the negativity and pain disappear.

The next step is kneading. Soft tissues are pulled back, squeezed slightly and released. The therapist’s movements are still slow, but more confident. So they work the whole body. Such a warm-up is very useful, especially for the lower back and the collar zone, since at this stage deposits begin to split. The use of this technique in the buttocks and thighs helps to split the “orange peel”. Rubbing is used in the area of ​​the ankles, knees, neck, tendons, and ligaments. This stage is carried out by hand or special devices. Movements are directed at right angles to the muscles.

 After the massage If possible, you should take a bath with sea salt to complete the process of maximum muscle relaxation.


 Swedish massage is based on several traditional techniques.


 Stroking. The specialist’s hands stroke the skin, gently and smoothly slipping over the entire surface of the body. At this stage, the patient relaxes and prepares for the subsequent physical impact.

 Kneading. The therapist kneads the skin with gentle sweeping movements, squeezes it and slightly stretches it. Depending on the overall intensity of the massage, mild pain may appear at this stage. There are at least five techniques in this area of ​​massage

 Trituration. It is necessary for the destruction of scar tissue, as well as increased blood circulation. Masseur intensively leads his palm in a circle. Thus, he warms the skin and achieves its natural polishing. This step is especially useful for intensive weight loss exercises.

 Banging and vibration. Short rhythmic and jerky movements carried out by the fingertips, palm edge, fist or palms folded into a handful are the basis of a Swedish massage.


To be effective, it’s important to find a good massage therapist.

 How to choose a massage therapist

Doing Swedish massage yourself is highly discouraged. In the absence of proper preparation, there is a risk of pinching the nerve or causing micro-damage to the muscles. Therefore, it is recommended to apply exclusively to specialists whom you can trust.

The first thing you should do is set your session goals:

1. Stress reduction

2. Relief of chronic or acute pain

3. Nerve Disease Treatment

4. Work efficiency improvement

5. General health improvement

6. Improving physical fitness

7. Then think about how you would like to see your future massage therapist.

You should be extremely careful here, as it rarely happens that visits to a salon or specialist end after the first session.

Be sure to evaluate the following factors: the availability of a license for a medical professional, the location of the procedure, the feedback of those who underwent the procedure.


Massage helps tone not only the body but also the spirit. A good solution would be to seek help from friends and acquaintances. Perhaps someone from your environment has already resorted to the help of specialists and can give you the contacts of a massage therapist.

In addition to friends, your doctor can help you choose a therapist. He likely has a list of massage therapists who have already established themselves as good specialists. You can also try to find a therapist on specialized pages on the Internet. Often, such resources additionally provide information on the massage therapist qualifications and patient reviews. If you do hatha yoga or other similar practices in a special center, then, for sure, there is a good specialist in Swedish massage.

The last step when the therapist is already found is intelligence. Call or visit your doctor’s office and find out about the following:

1. Styles Used

2. Practice duration

3. Possibilities for adjusting the procedure depending on the patient’s preferences

4. Availability of certificates of professional development

5. Another very popular type of massage is deep tissue massage.

What is deep tissue massage and how is it different from Swedish massage?

Deep tissue massage is one of the most effective massage methods. And at the same time, most misconceptions are connected with it.

What is a deep-tissue massage? This method is also called deep tissue massage or facial muscle massage.

One of the main goals of deep tissue massage is to eliminate deformations of connective tissue: fascia, tendons, ligaments, and other tissues. And here, this method has no competitors among massage methods.

Why is it necessary to eliminate connective tissue deformities? The fact is that connective tissue is the mechanical basis of the whole organism. Connective tissue permeates absolutely all parts and organs of the body.

It is she who gives the body a form and provides the possibility of movement. If the muscles can be compared with the motor, then the connective tissue is the “running gear” of the body. The muscle is enclosed in a case of connective tissue, with its help is attached to the bones, which also consist of connective tissue.

The total mass of fascia muscles is about 30%. Each muscle fiber is enclosed in a fascia, each group of fibers and the entire muscle as a whole are also enclosed in a fascial sheath. When contracted, muscle fibers change the shape of this membrane, which in turn pulls on the tendon and sets the bones in motion. This is how the body moves.

Due to several reasons, connective tissue can be deformed, a kind of “clamps”, a restriction is formed. If the fascial muscle case is deformed, then the muscle in it feels like a person in clothes that are small to him. The muscle loses the ability to contract normally, weakens. In response to this, a whole complex of adaptive reactions occurs in the body. Posture is changing. If one or more muscles do not do their job properly, then other muscles are overloaded, joints are overloaded. Overloaded areas of the body begin to hurt.

This situation can be corrected only by eliminating the deformation of the connective tissue. Other massage methods that are aimed at affecting muscle tissue or normalizing the flow of fluids in the body will be useless here.

At best, they will lead to a temporary improvement. It is in such cases that the pain after massage disappears, but after some time returns. This is because the masseur does not work with the cause, but with the effect.

The main goal of deep tissue massage is to restore the normal shape of the fascia, tendons, and ligaments, that is, stretching the “clamped” tissue and normalizing the sliding of the fascia between them. When working with connective tissue, a specialist must comply with its laws.

 But these laws are as follows:

• Connective tissue cannot be stretched quickly. When you try forced, forced stretching of the fascia, it is injured. Microcracks form and the patient’s condition worsens. Work on one section of the fascia can last up to 3-4 minutes of continuous soft stretching. When the fascia is tensioned, slow biochemical processes begin in it, which leads to its softening. Without waiting for this softening, it is impossible to change the shape of the fascia.

• Techniques for deep tissue massage are fundamentally different from classical massage techniques. These are special hooks and stretchings of tissues, for which the tips or phalanges of the fingers, fist, forearm or elbow are used. The effect is mild, smooth and painless.

It targets three central muscle areas, namely: the neck, back, and fascia (connective tissue). This massage is called by this name because it is intended for deep penetration into the underlying muscle layers. Massage is designed to thoroughly relax all of these tense muscles beneath the surface.

Besides, many of the principles used for deep tissue massage are also present in Swedish massage, but deep tissue massage is more likely to be stronger. Moreover, this form of massage focuses on problem areas “this means that it focuses on hard muscle areas that are excessively tense and not constantly working in the back and cervical areas. However, no matter how natural this massage can be, it will not hurt as much as many people believe.

So, deep tissue massage is a powerful tool for solving the problems of the musculoskeletal system. This is a painless, mild effect aimed at restoring the normal form of connective tissue. With it, you can normalize the function of the entire musculoskeletal system as a single system, eliminate local overloads and relieve pain.

Comparison criteria Swedish massage Deep tissue massage
Softness Softer softer heavier
Sensitive skin Fits Causes a rash
Stress Relief More like Less suitable
Therapeutic factor General tone According to the doctor’s testimony

So, having examined the types of massages, massage techniques, and techniques, you can answer the question. Swedish massage versus deep tissue massage

1. Swedish massage – a softer and softer massage compared to a more intense and strong deep tissue massage.

2. Swedish massage is best for those who have very sensitive skin types that easily cause a rash, especially with severe friction and friction.

3. Swedish massage is the massage of choice for those who are usually stressed by work or home problems, while deep tissue massage for those who suffer from chronic pain, participated in many intense activities or are constantly worried about previous injuries.

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